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Berry pictured on 'Rock & Roll' beer

By
TIM BRYANT

ST. LOUIS -- Music legend Chuck Berry is about to make his first appearance on a can of beer, pictured in the stance familiar to rock-and-roll fans since the 1950s.

Appropriately, Berry's picture is on Rock & Roll Beer. The new can will be introduced Wednesday, and Berry is expected to be in attendance and receive the first case of the brew.

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'The whole point is to honor him,' said rock music historian, tavern owner and Rock & Roll Beer founder Joe Edwards. 'I don't think many musicians could say they weren't influenced by Chuck Berry.

'His music is timeless. He's timeless.'

Berry, who lives in suburban Wentzville, plans to attend the unveiling at Blueberry Hill, the bar Edwards opened in 1972.

Rock & Roll was started as a 'house beer' in 1981 but has grown rapidly and now is sold seven states, Japan and Micronesia. The beer is brewed by Pilsner Brewing Co. of Philadelphia and Cleveland.

Edwards first contacted Berry a year ago about putting the star's picture on Rock & Roll.

'He's been really good about it,' Edwards said. 'He picked out the picture, himself. He really likes it.'

The names of 16 Berry hits, from 'Maybellene to Reelin' & Rockin,'' will appear on the can beneath the legend's picture.

Edwards hopes Berry is the first in what will be a series of musicians who will appear on Rock & Roll. The beer's founder plans to call the series 'Heroes of Rock & Roll.' The heroes will get a percentage of the beer sales.

'It's mostly to honor the people who have meant the most to the music, and to the tens of millions of people who grew up with rock-and-roll,' Edwards said.

He expects 1984 to be a be a big year for Rock & Roll, the beer. He said he's got a good product, good distribution, 'And we've got Chuck Berry.'

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